Presence of Hyundai officials promising

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The excitement surrounding Hyundai's announcement to locate a $1 billion automobile manufacturing plant less than 40 miles from Greenville continues.

With a pending announcement of a major supplier apparently locating in Montgomery on tap, other companies that will supply the parts needed to build Hyundai automobiles will begin to fall into place soon, and we hope, as do the rest of Butler County residents, that one or more of those suppliers will choose Greenville to locate their facility.

That's why we were so interested and excited to see not only the head of Hyundai North America, Y.S. Kim, in Greenville last week but representatives of some of Hyundai's major suppliers as well. They were in town to celebrate our Chamber of Commerce's annual Low Country Boil and while Kim made the statement that Hyundai didn't have any say in where suppliers would locate, to us his presence in Greenville sent a clear messagen that we indeed are the type of community that deserves to be at the top of the list in consideration for suppliers to locate.

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Their presence coupled with the recent comments of Dr. Malcolm Portera, the Chancellor of the Alabama University system, saying that Greenville is "in the right place at the right time" lends even more credence to the idea that Greenville will soon benefit from the Hyundai project. And Portera should know. Portera is known as someone who is highly tuned in to economic development and essentially helped create our local economic development initiative several years ago.

Portera, while President of Mississippi State University, is also credited with being one of the major catalysts in bringing more than 4,000 probable jobs to Mississippi when Nissan announced it would invest more than $1 billion to build an automotive assembly plant near the state capital of Jackson. In other words, the man knows what he's talking about and his assessment of our chances to benefit from Hyundai is solid.

We feel what's crucial for us going forward is to be patient and let those that are charged with economic and industrial development do their jobs. When the dust settles and the suppliers have all found a home, we can then look at our situation and judge whether or not our development officials have done their job.

Our feeling is that they are, and hopefully we all

will be able to celebrate together very soon.